I was talking to members of a marketing department (mostly female) recently who had discovered that one of their core products had poor uptake among men. The product name seemed quite girly to me – and we were discussing whether the product’s communication was unconsciously influenced by the gender of the marketing team.
I remembered that conversation when I read about some new research just published on the words that men and women use to communicate on Facebook. It reports on a comprehensive study analysing 19 million Facebook status updates – and it shows rather depressingly that men and women tend to display their sterotypes clearly when communicating, at least on Facebook.
Words, phrases, and topics most highly distinguishing females and males
Now, one might infer from the word cloud above that the research found that women talk about shopping and boyfriends all the time, while men mostly swear about football and gaming. Despite what some of the media have been inferring, that’s not the case – as the paper itself states:
“Unlike most word clouds, which scale word size by their frequency, we scale word size according to the strength of the correlation of the word with the demographic or psychological measurement of interest, and we use color to represent frequency over all subjects; that is, larger words indicate stronger correlations, and darker colors indicate more frequently used words. This provides a clear picture of which words and phrases are most discriminating while not losing track of which ones are the most frequent.”
Nevertheless, it is interesting to observe the differences between the ways different genders communicate. This kind of research should give marketing teams dominated by one gender pause for thought.
Mr. Tom Fishburne is a cartoonist with an eye for the unspoken truths and the absurdities in business, especially in marketing. If you find yourself rolling your eyes in marketing meetings, shaking your head at money being wasted on marketing fads, or gnashing your teeth at how stupid processes are destroying your buiness idea, then a free email subscription to his regular cartoons (via his homepage) will be just the tonic.
Above is my favourite cartoon of his, so far. It captures in a single image a point that I’ve taken thousands of words to make, less eloquently, over the last six years.
Today he publishes another fine insight – here.
The Digital Marketing Institute is a new type of marketing training company – born out of a frustration felt by marketing agencies in Ireland because they could not recruit staff in Dublin with good knowledge of digital marketing. Therefore, they set up a company to provide training in digital marketing, a need that was poorly met at the time by both the academic and the professional training organisations in Ireland. It has now expanded to the UK, the USA and other countries.
DMI students participating in a word-of-mouth marketing workshop
Earlier this year I started delivering lectures to their students on my specialism of word-of-mouth / viral marketing, and it certainly has been a good discipline to deliver 3-hour lectures to inquisitive, demanding students. So thanks very much to Anthony at the DMI for the opportunity to be part of this valuable institution.
Personally I’m convinced that the DMI has had a big impact on the quality of digital marketing going on in Ireland. Learning like this will make the Irish economy more competitive. Power to you.
I travel a lot with my work. It goes with the territory. And I visit a lot of hotels. I don’t know whether it’s memetics or the result of hotel industry conferences, but lots of hotels seem to have similar notices in their bathrooms. You know the ones that say ‘Do you care about the environment?’ and go on to blackmail you to use the towels multiple times. I’ve no issue with using towels for more than one day – after all, we all do at home (right?…), but these are frequently the same establishments that are blasting airconditioned air out of the front entrance rather than shut the door, or that make no attempt to recycle empty bottles from the bar. In the bathroom of one very fancy place where I stayed a couple of weeks ago, the bathroom contained the sign in this picture. When you read the message, bear in mind that this is a place in Northern Europe with a heated outdoor swimming pool. Saving the planet my backside!
It’d be so much better if they just told the truth.
I was recently privileged to listen to Krishna De speak on (inter alia) the use of short movies to convey information on blogs and company websites. She demonstrated how easy it was to produce an interesting internet video content that was, if not high quality, certainly fit for purpose.
The same week I was to attend the Irish Beekeeping Summer School in Gormanston, Co. Meath – so what better than to combine two of my interests – beekeeping and marketing – and try my hand at making some movies for the Dublin Beekeepers’ website. The results are here – with neophyes as interviewer and camera operator, anyone can see we have plenty to learn, and we could do with more sophisticated equipment than my wife’s compact camera! Nevertheless, I hope these movies show the power of these simple tools, and, if you happen to have any interest in bees, pique your interest in the Gormanston Summer School.